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  1. added 2019-01-22
    Descartes's Nomic Concurrentism: Finite Causation and Divine Concurrence.Andrew Pessin - 2003 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 41 (1):25-49.
  2. added 2018-11-29
    Evolution and Utilitarianism.François Jaquet - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-11.
    Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek and Peter Singer have recently provided an evolutionary argument for utilitarianism. They argue that most of our deontological beliefs were shaped by evolution, from which they conclude that these beliefs are unjustified. By contrast, they maintain that the utilitarian belief that everyone’s well-being matters equally is immune to such debunking arguments because it wasn’t similarly influenced. However, Guy Kahane remarks that this belief lacks substantial content unless it is paired with an account of well-being, and he adds (...)
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  3. added 2018-11-23
    David Sobel, From Valuing to Value: A Defense of Subjectivism , Pp. Vii + 312.Owen C. King - forthcoming - Utilitas:1-5.
    This is a review of David Sobel's monograph, From Valuing to Value: A Defense of Subjectivism.
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  4. added 2018-10-05
    On Two Interpretations of the Desire-Satisfaction Theory of Prudential Value.Joseph van Weelden - forthcoming - Utilitas:1-20.
    This article considers two different ways of formulating a desire-satisfaction theory of prudential value. The first version of the theory (the object view) assigns basic prudential value to the state of affairs that is the object of a person’s desire. The second version (the combo view) assigns basic prudential value to the compound state of affairs in which (a) a person desires some state of affairs and (b) this state of affairs obtains. My aims in this article are twofold. First, (...)
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  5. added 2018-09-06
    A Stringent but Critical Actualist Subjectivism About Well-Being.Stéphane Lemaire - 2016 - Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 11 (2-3):133-150.
    Stéphane Lemaire | : Subjectivists about well-being claim that an object is good for someone if and only if this individual holds a certain type of pro-attitude toward this object. In this paper, I focus on the dispute among subjectivists that opposes those who think that the relevant pro-attitudes are actual to those who think that they are counterfactual under some idealized conditions. My main claim is that subjectivism should be stringently actualist, though our actual pro-attitudes may be criticized from (...)
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  6. added 2018-08-28
    The Disjunctive Hybrid Theory of Prudential Value: An Inclusive Approach to the Good Life.Joseph Van Weelden - 2018 - Dissertation, McGill University
    In this dissertation, I argue that all extant theories of prudential value are either a) enumeratively deficient, in that they are unable to accommodate everything that, intuitively, is a basic constituent of prudential value, b) explanatorily deficient, in that they are at least sometimes unable to offer a plausible story about what makes a given thing prudentially valuable, or c) both. In response to the unsatisfactory state of the literature, I present my own account, the Disjunctive Hybrid Theory or DHT. (...)
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  7. added 2018-06-28
    Ethical Issues in Designing Interventions for Behavioural Change.Gyunchan Thomas Jun, Neil Sinclair & Fernando Carvalho - 2018 - Proceedings of Design Research Society 2018, Volume 1.
  8. added 2018-05-31
    Preferences’ Significance Does Not Depend on Their Content.Evan G. Williams - 2014 - New Content is Available for Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (2):211-234.
    _ Source: _Page Count 24 Moral theories which include a preference-fulfillment aspect should not restrict their concern to some subset of people’s preferences such as “now-for-now” preferences. Instead, preferences with all contents—e.g. ones which are external, diachronic, or even modal—should be taken into account. I offer a conceptualization of preferences and preference fulfillment which allows us to understand odd species of preferences, and I give a series of examples showing what it would mean to fulfill such preferences and why we (...)
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  9. added 2018-03-13
    Is Utilitarianism Bad for Women?H. E. Baber - 2017 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 3 (4).
    Open access: Philosophers and policy-makers concerned with the ethics, economics, and politics of development argue that the phenomenon of “adaptive preference” makes preference-utilitarian measures of well-being untenable. Poor women in the Global South, they suggest, adapt to deprivation and oppression and may come to prefer states of affairs that are not conducive to flourishing. This critique, however, assumes a questionable understanding of preference utilitarianism and, more fundamentally, of the concept of preference that figures in such accounts. If well-being is understood (...)
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  10. added 2018-03-05
    Quand nos émotions sont-elles raisonnables?Stéphane Lemaire - 2016 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 141 (2):215-234.
    Nous jugeons les réponses émotionnelles comme plus ou moins raisonnables étant donné leur objet et le contexte. Je soutiens que la légitimité de ces jugements repose sur le caractère raisonnable des désirs ou des dispositions émotionnelles qui expliquent ces réponses émotionnelles. Il est déraisonnable d’être triste de ne pas satisfaire un désir déraisonnable. Mais comment un désir peut-il être déraisonnable ? Je rejette l’idée selon laquelle les désirs seraient raisonnables parce que cohérents. Je suggère que nos désirs et nos dispositions (...)
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  11. added 2018-01-26
    Well-Being and Animals.Christopher Rice - 2016 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 378-388.
    This essay examines several competing accounts of what makes life go well for non-human animals, including prominent subjective and objective theories of animal well-being.
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  12. added 2017-12-23
    The Entanglement Problem and Idealization in Moral Philosophy.Olle Risberg - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (272):542-559.
    According to many popular views in normative ethics, meta-ethics and axiology, facts about what we ought to do or what is good for us depend on facts about the attitudes that some agent would have in some relevant idealized circumstances. This paper presents an unrecognized structural problem for such views which threatens to be devastating.
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  13. added 2017-12-04
    Asymmetrism About Desire Satisfactionism and Time.Eden Lin - 2017 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, vol. 7. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 161-183.
    Desire-satisfaction theories of welfare must answer the timing question: when do you benefit from the satisfaction of one of your desires? There are three existing views about this: the Time of Desire view, on which you benefit at just those times when you have the desire; the Time of Object view, on which you benefit just when the object of your desire obtains; and Concurrentism, on which you benefit just when you have the desire and its object obtains. This paper (...)
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  14. added 2017-11-20
    Achievement, Enjoyment, and the Things We Care About: A Theory of Personal Well-Being.Jason R. Raibley - 2007 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    This dissertation develops a theory of personal well-being---i.e., a theory of what is it for a person's life to go well for them. The proposed theory is called "the successful activity view of well-being." It is an end-neutral account of individual welfare that primarily values the pursuit, achievement, and enjoyment of ends that are important to a person. The parts of this process---e.g., the pursuit of ends, the achievement of ends, the enjoyment of activities and situations, and even the satisfaction (...)
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  15. added 2017-11-08
    The Experience Machine Objection to Desire Satisfactionism.Dan Lowe & Joseph Stenberg - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (2):247-263.
    It is widely held that the Experience Machine is the basis of a serious objection to Hedonistic theories of welfare. It is also widely held that Desire Satisfactionist theories of welfare can readily avoid problems stemming from the Experience Machine. But in this paper, we argue that if the Experience Machine poses a serious problem for Hedonism, it also poses a serious problem for Desire Satisfactionism. We raise two objections to Desire Satisfactionism, each of which relies on the Experience Machine. (...)
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  16. added 2017-11-08
    Dead and Gone.Joyce L. Jenkins - 2011 - Utilitas 23 (2):228-234.
    I argue that desire satisfaction theories of welfare are not committed to the view that changes in welfare levels can happen after death, or that events that occur after death impact the agent's welfare levels now. My argument is that events that occur after death have only epistemological import. They may reveal that the person was successful (unsuccessful) in life, but the desire was already frustrated or satisfied before the person died. The virtue of the account is that it gives (...)
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  17. added 2017-10-23
    Which Desires Are Relevant to Well‐Being?Chris Heathwood - 2017 - Noûs.
    The desire-satisfaction theory of well-being says, in its simplest form, that a person's level of welfare is determined by the extent to which their desires are satisfied. A question faced by anyone attracted to such a view is, Which desires? This paper proposes a new answer to this question by characterizing a distinction among desires that isn't much discussed in the well-being literature. This is the distinction between what a person wants in a merely behavioral sense, in that the person (...)
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  18. added 2017-10-18
    Autonomy and Adaptive Preferences.Ben Colburn - 2011 - Utilitas 23 (1):52-71.
    Adaptive preference formation is the unconscious altering of our preferences in light of the options we have available. Jon Elster has argued that this is bad because it undermines our autonomy. I agree, but think that Elster's explanation of why is lacking. So, I draw on a richer account of autonomy to give the following answer. Preferences formed through adaptation are characterized by covert influence (that is, explanations of which an agent herself is necessarily unaware), and covert influence undermines our (...)
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  19. added 2017-10-03
    Local Desire Satisfaction and Long Term Wellbeing: Revisiting the Gout Sufferer of Kant’s Groundwork.Alice Pinheiro Walla - 2015 - Belgrade Philosophical Annual.
    In this paper, I analyze the least discussed of Kant’s four examples of duty in the first section of his Groundwork to the Metaphysics of Morals: the gout sufferer who is no longer motivated by natural interest in his long-term wellbeing, and is thus in a unique position to secure his own happiness from duty. This example has long been wrongly interpreted as a failure of prudential rationality, as recently illustrated by Allen Wood’s reading of that example. -/- I argue (...)
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  20. added 2017-09-03
    Desire Satisfaction, Death, and Time.Duncan Purves - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (6):799-819.
    Desire satisfaction theories of well-being and deprivationism about the badness of death face similar problems: desire satisfaction theories have trouble locating the time when the satisfaction of a future or past-directed desire benefits a person; deprivationism has trouble locating a time when death is bad for a person. I argue that desire satisfaction theorists and deprivation theorists can address their respective timing problems by accepting fusionism, the view that some events benefit or harm individuals only at fusions of moments in (...)
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  21. added 2017-08-05
    Désir (Avancé).Federico Lauria - 2017 - Encyclopédie Philosophique.
    Les désirs sont centraux pour agir et être heureux. Qu’est-ce qu’un désir ? En quoi les désirs sont-ils importants ? Dans cette entrée, nous tenterons de mettre les mots sur cette expérience si familière et pourtant négligée par la philosophie contemporaine. (1) En guise de préliminaires, nous délimiterons notre objet d’étude à la lumière des principales distinctions entre les désirs et d’autres états mentaux tels que les croyances et intentions, ainsi qu’à l’aide des distinctions classiques parmi les désirs. (2) Notre (...)
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  22. added 2017-07-01
    Enumeration and Explanation in Theories of Welfare.Eden Lin - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):65-73.
    It has become commonplace to distinguish enumerative theories of welfare, which tell us which things are good for us, from explanatory theories, which tell us why the things that are good for us have that status. It has also been claimed that while hedonism and objective list theories are enumerative but not explanatory, desire satisfactionism is explanatory but not enumerative. In this paper, I argue that this is mistaken. When properly understood, every major theory of welfare is both enumerative and (...)
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  23. added 2017-06-10
    Review of David Sobel's From Valuing to Value. [REVIEW]Ben Bramble - 2017 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 201705:2017.05.13.
  24. added 2017-06-07
    Real Desires and Well-Being.Joseph Mendola - 2009 - Philosophical Issues 19 (1):148-165.
    ‘Simple desire-based accounts’ of individual good or well-being identify an individual’s good with the satisfaction of their actual desires. I will defend one version.
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  25. added 2017-03-14
    Depression and the Problem of Absent Desires.Ian Tully - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (2):1-16.
    I argue that consideration of certain cases of severe depression reveals a problem for desire-based theories of welfare. I first show that depression can result in a person losing her desires and then identify a case wherein it seems right to think that, as a result of very severe depression, the individuals described no longer have any desires whatsoever. I argue that the state these people are in is a state of profound ill-being: their lives are going very poorly for (...)
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  26. added 2017-02-09
    Mark Overvold's Contribution to Philosophy.Brad Hooker - 1991 - Journal of Philosophical Research 16:333-344.
    The prevailing theory of self-interest (personal utility or individual welfare) holds that one’s Iife goes well to the extent that one’s desires are fulfilled. In a couple of seminal papers, Overvold raised a devastating objection to this theory---namely that the theory (added to commonsensical beliefs about the nature of action) makes self-sacrifice logically impossible. He then proposed an appealing revision of the prevailing theory, one which provided adequate logical space for self-sacrifice. And he analyzed his revised theory’s implications for the (...)
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  27. added 2017-02-09
    Plato's Theory of Desire.Charles H. Kahn - 1987 - Review of Metaphysics 41 (1):77 - 103.
    My aim here is to make sense of Plato's account of desire in the middle dialogues. To do that I need to unify or reconcile what are at first sight two quite different accounts: the doctrine of eros in the Symposium and the tripartite theory of motivation in the Republic. It may be that the two theories are after all irreconcilable, that Plato simply changed his mind on the nature of human desire after writing the Symposium and before composing the (...)
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  28. added 2017-01-29
    Self-Interest, Self-Sacrifice, and the Satisfaction of Desires.Mark Carl Overvold - 1976 - Dissertation, University of Michigan
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  29. added 2017-01-23
    In Defense of Sophisticated Theories of Welfare.Benjamin Yelle - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (4):1409-1418.
    “Sophisticated” theories of welfare face two potentially devastating criticisms. They are based upon two claims: that theories of welfare should be tested for what they imply about newborn infants and that even if a theory of welfare is intended to apply only to adults, we might still have sufficient reason to reject it because it implies an implausible divergence between adult and neonatal welfare. It has been argued we ought reject sophisticated theories of welfare because they have significantly counterintuitive implications (...)
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  30. added 2017-01-23
    Welfare.M. G. - 1973 - Review of Metaphysics 27 (1):154-154.
  31. added 2017-01-19
    Integrity, the Self, and Desire-Based Accounts of the Good.Robert Noggle - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 96 (3):301-328.
    Desire-based theories of well-being claim that a person's well-being consists of the satisfaction of her desires. Many of these theories say that well-being consists of the satisfaction of desires that she would have if her desires were "corrected" in various ways. Some versions of this theory claim that the corrections involve having "full information" or being an "ideal observer." I argue that well-being does not depend on what one would desire if she were an “ideal observer.” Rather, it depends on (...)
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  32. added 2017-01-18
    What Are Desires Good For? Towards a Coherent Endorsement Theory.Krister Bykvist - 2006 - Ratio 19 (3):286–304.
    Desire-based theories of well-being are often said to accept (G), x is good for a person just in case he wants it, and (B), x is better for a person than y just in case he prefers x to y. I shall argue that (G) and (B) are inconsistent, and this inconsistency resists any plausible refinement of these principles. The inconsistency is brought out by cases in which our wants and preferences for certain life-options are contingent on which life-option we (...)
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  33. added 2017-01-16
    Elements of an Evolutionary Theory of Welfare: Assessing Welfare When Preferences Change.Martin Binder - 2010 - Routledge.
    It has always been an important task of economics to assess individual and social welfare. The traditional approach has assumed that the measuring rod for welfare is the satisfaction of the individual’s given and unchanging preferences, but recent work in behavioural economics has called this into question by pointing out the inconsistencies and context-dependencies of human behaviour. When preferences are no longer consistent, we have to ask whether a different measure for individual welfare can, and should, be found. This book (...)
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  34. added 2017-01-03
    Attraction, Description and the Desire-Satisfaction Theory of Welfare.Eden Lin - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (1):1-8.
    The desire-satisfaction theory of welfare says that what is basically good for a subject is the satisfaction of his desires. One challenge to this view is the existence of quirky desires, such as a desire to count blades of grass. It is hard to see why anyone would desire such things, and thus hard to believe that the satisfaction of such desires could be basically good for anyone. This suggests that only some desires are basically good when satisfied, and that (...)
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  35. added 2016-12-12
    Worlds, Capabilities and Well-Being.H. E. Baber - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (4):377-392.
    Critics suggest that without some "objective" account of well-being we cannot explain why satisfying some preferences is, as we believe, better than satisfying others, why satisfying some preferences may leave us on net worse off or why, in a range of cases, we should reject life-adjustment in favor of life-improvement. I defend a subjective welfarist understanding of well-being against such objections by reconstructing the Amartya Sen's capability approach as a preferentist account of well-being. According to the proposed account preference satisfaction (...)
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  36. added 2016-12-08
    Preference-Formation and Personal Good.Connie Rosati - 2006 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 59:33-64.
    As persons, beings with a capacity for autonomy, we face a certain practical task in living out our lives. At any given period we find ourselves with many desires or preferences, yet we have limited resources, and so we cannot satisfy them all. Our limited resources include insufficient economic means, of course; few of us have either the funds or the material provisions to obtain or pursue all that we might like. More significantly, though, we are limited to a single (...)
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  37. added 2016-09-23
    Quirky Desires and Well-Being.Donald Bruckner - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 10 (2):1-34.
    According to a desire-satisfaction theory of well-being, the satisfaction of one’s desires is what promotes one’s well-being. Against this, it is frequently objected that some desires are beyond the pale of well-being relevance, for example: the desire to count blades of grass, the desire to collect dryer lint and the desire to make handwritten copies of War and Peace, to name a few. I argue that the satisfaction of such desires – I call them “quirky” desires – does indeed contribute (...)
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  38. added 2016-09-01
    Desires.Kris McDaniel & Ben Bradley - 2008 - Mind 117 (466):267-302.
    We argue that desire is an attitude that relates a person not to one proposition but rather to two, the first of which we call the object of the desire and the second of which we call the condition of the desire. This view of desire is initially motivated by puzzles about conditional desires. It is not at all obvious how best to draw the distinction between conditional and unconditional desires. In this paper we examine extant attempts to analyse conditional (...)
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  39. added 2016-03-07
    Against Welfare Subjectivism.Eden Lin - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):354-377.
    Subjectivism about welfare is the view that something is basically good for you if and only if, and to the extent that, you have the right kind of favorable attitude toward it under the right conditions. I make a presumptive case for the falsity of subjectivism by arguing against nearly every extant version of the view. My arguments share a common theme: theories of welfare should be tested for what they imply about newborn infants. Even if a theory is intended (...)
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  40. added 2016-02-02
    Interpersonal Comparisons of Well-Being, Jon Elster and John E. Roemer . Cambridge University Press, 1991, X + 400 Pages and The Quality of Life, Martha C. Nussbaum and Amartya Sen . Oxford University Press, 1993, Xi + 453 Pages. [REVIEW]Adam Morton - 1996 - Economics and Philosophy 12 (1):101.
  41. added 2016-01-11
    The Subjective List Theory of Well-Being.Eden Lin - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):99-114.
    A subjective list theory of well-being is one that accepts both pluralism (the view that there is more than one basic good) and subjectivism (the view, roughly, that every basic good involves our favourable attitudes). Such theories have been neglected in discussions of welfare. I argue that this is a mistake. I introduce a subjective list theory called disjunctive desire satisfactionism, and I argue that it is superior to two prominent monistic subjectivist views: desire satisfactionism and subjective desire satisfactionism. In (...)
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  42. added 2016-01-11
    Prudence, Morality, and the Humean Theory of Reasons.Eden Lin - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (259):220-240.
    Humeans about normative reasons claim that there is a reason for you to perform a given action if and only if this would promote the satisfaction of one of your desires. Their view has traditionally been thought to have the revisionary implication that an agent can sometimes lack any reason to do what morality or prudence requires. Recently, however, Mark Schroeder has denied this. If he is right, then the Humean theory accords better with common sense than it has been (...)
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  43. added 2016-01-11
    Dead and Gone? Reply to Jenkins.Jens Johansson & Karl Ekendahl - 2014 - Utilitas 26 (2):1-3.
    In a recent article, Joyce L. Jenkins challenges the common belief that desire satisfactionists are committed to the view that a person's welfare can be affected by posthumous events. Jenkins argues that desire satisfactionists can and should say that posthumous events only play an epistemic role: though such events cannot harm me, they can reveal that I have already been harmed by something else. In this response, however, we show that Jenkins's approach collapses into the view she aims to avoid.
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  44. added 2016-01-11
    Full Information, Well-Being, and Reasonable Desires.Yonatan Shemmer - 2011 - Utilitas 23 (2):206-227.
    According to Railton: x is good for me iff my Fully Informed Self (FIS) while contemplating my situation would want me to want x. I offer four interpretations of this view. The first three are inadequate. Their inadequacy rests on the following two facts: (a) my FIS cannot want me to want what would be irrational for me to want, (b) when contemplating what is rational for me to want we must specify a particular way in which I could rationally (...)
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  45. added 2016-01-11
    Absent Desires.Toby Handfield - 2011 - Utilitas 23 (4):402-427.
    What difference does it make to matters of value, for a desire satisfactionist, if a given desire is *absent*, rather than *present*? I argue that it is most plausible to hold that the state in which a given desire is satisfied is, other things being equal, incommensurate with the state in which that desire does not exist at all. In addition to illustrating the internal attractions of the view, I demonstrate that this idea has attractive implications for population ethics. Finally, (...)
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  46. added 2016-01-11
    A Theory Of Flourishing.Shidan Lotfi - 2011 - Dissertation, Florida State University,
    The question "What is the good life?" is perhaps the most basic question in all of ethics. The four major paradigms of the good life that have been proposed by various philosophers are: (1) hedonism, (2) various forms of desire-satisfactionism, (3) objective value pluralism, and (4) the hybrid theory--i.e., a combination of (1) and (3). In my dissertation, I critique the leading accounts of flourishing (or wellbeing) and defend an objective value pluralistic theory of flourishing that is based on what (...)
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  47. added 2016-01-11
    Well-Being and the Priority of Values.Jason R. Raibley - 2010 - Social Theory and Practice 36 (4):593-620.
    Leading versions of hedonism generate implausible results about the welfare value of very intense or unwanted pleasures, while recent versions of desire satisfactionism overvalue the fulfillment of desires associated with compulsions and addictions. Consequently, both these theories fail to satisfy a plausible condition of adequacy for theories of well-being proposed by L.W. Sumner: they do not make one’s well-being depend on one’s own cares or concerns. But Sumner’s own life-satisfaction theory cannot easily be extended to explain welfare over time, and (...)
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  48. added 2016-01-11
    Desire Satisfactionism and the Problem of Irrelevant Desires.Mark Lukas - 2010 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 4 (2):1-25.
    Desire-satisfaction theories about welfare come in two main varieties: unrestricted and restricted. Both varieties hold that a person's welfare is determined entirely by the satisfactions and frustrations of his desires. But while the restricted theories count only some of a person’s desires as relevant to his well-being, the unrestricted theories count all of his desires as relevant. Because unrestricted theories count all desires as relevant they are vulnerable to a wide variety of counterexamples involving desires that seem obviously irrelevant. Derek (...)
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  49. added 2016-01-11
    The Experience Machine Deconstructed.H. E. Baber - 2008 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 15 (1):133-138.
    Nozick’s Experience Machine thought experiment is generally taken to make a compelling, if not conclusive, case against philosophical hedonism. I argue that it does not and, indeed, that regardless of the results, it cannot provide any reason to accept or reject either hedonism or any other philosophical account of wellbeing since it presupposes preferentism, the desire-satisfaction account ofwellbeing. Preferentists cannot take any comfort from the results of such thought experiments because they assume preferentism and therefore cannot establish it. Neither can (...)
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  50. added 2016-01-11
    Well-Being and Actual Desires.Mark E. Lukas - 2005 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    What makes a life good for the person who lives it? According to one answer, enjoyment. Hedonists tell us that one's life goes well to the extent that he enjoys himself and avoids pain. Another answer is that we do well in life to the extent to which we get what we desire. Some versions of this last answer count only "rational" of "informed" desires as relevant to well-being. I defend the view that a person's quality of life is determined (...)
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